Zaborin: Ryokan Amongst The Trees
Nestled within a quiet forest in northern Hokkaido, Japan, new ryokan Zaborin expresses the beauty of nature with simplicity and refinement.
Zaborin represents modern architecture coupled with influences from traditional Japanese design, flavoured with a distinct reverence to nature. Located in Niseko, the ryokan is set in the seclusion and protection of a forest, enjoying direct views of Mount Yōtei.
Asia-based philanthropists and first-time hoteliers, James and Michèle Marshall, collaborated with long-time friend, local Niseko resident and creative director Shouya Grigg – who was raised in Australia and arrived in Japan in 1994 – to fulfil their shared dream of creating a luxury ryokan. Zaborin was an inevitable coming together of old friends and partnerships, with the project designed by award-winning architect Makoto Nakayama of NA Nakayama Architects, whom both the Marshalls and Grigg have worked with in the past.
Zaborin was born from the team’s mutual love of Japan and Japanese tradition. They set out to curate a hotel that embraces modern comforts but holds itself true to the key spirit of a traditional ryokan: ‘omotenashi’ (hospitality), exquisite food, onsen and an absorption of and reverence for the beauty and embrace of nature.
With 15 private villas, the resort was designed with simplicity and refinement, with a serene, non-ostentatious luxury. Each villa features private indoor and outdoor onsens, with spring water fed directly from Zaborin’s very own hot spring. With sustainability and the preservation of the environment in mind, Zaborin’s spring waters – the hot onsen waters and the cold mountain waters – are utilised to provide a natural source of heating and cooling throughout the property, in order to reuse and recycle its available natural resources.
The property’s design includes outdoor terraces with sweeping views of the mountain ranges; a kaiseki fine-dining restaurant with individual rooms; a chef’s table for teppanyaki; a tea room; an open-plan library; and intimate spaces including a lounge, bar and gallery featuring local art.